Gopehswar is the headquarters of Chamoli district, situated at an elevation of 1308 m above sea-level. It is a picturesque place with helthy climate. An ancient temple of Lord Shiva is the main attraction of the town and thousands of pilgrims come here throughout the year to visit it. Owing to its natural beauty and fresh atmosphere, Gopeshwar is becoming a major attraction for the tourists. Many well known tourist spots and religious centres are spread around this town. According to historians, the name Gopeshwar has associations with the name of Lord Krishna.
Besides the ancient temple of Lord Shiva, Vaitarini Kund, a group of temples without idols and Oak view are other places of interest.
Attractions & Places to Visit and Explore in Gopeshwar
This famous temple of Gopeshwar was built in the reign of Katyuri dynasty from 9-11 century AD. Gopinath Temple is the home of Rudranath, one amongst panch kedar during winters. The ling is worshipped as ekanan (face of Lord Shiva), and in his mridh roop (in the form of Lord Vishnu) in Gopinath Temple. The temple is dedicated to two greatest gods of Hindus, Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu. This is the only Shiva temple where the milk and water are not offered up to the shivling and bil patri is the only offering. According to mythology a cow used to give milk on the Shiva Lingam every day at this place. When the king saw the cow performing this activity he decided to construct a temple at this place and since then this temple became popular.
Temple: It is believed that Chamoli is named after the devta Chamolanath, and that his idol emerged from under the ground centuries ago at this spot. This holy site is situated near the Block Development office of Chamoli. According to pujari Anand Singh, the structure of the temple was constructed in 1946. The structure of the temple is hexagonal which brings a strange contrast to the ancient idol inside.
Chandika Devi Temple
This sacred shrine is also known as Ma Mahishasur Mardini as this is the spot where Chandika Devi killed Mahishasur. This temple is also considered as one the eight siddh peeths dedicated to Goddesses in Uttarakhand. Chandika Devi Temple was severely damaged by the earthquake of 1999, now it has been moderately rebuilt
Saggar village is the commencement point of the trek to Rudranath. Rudranath is 4th Kedar dedicated to Lord Shiva. The 22km trek to Rudranath is the toughest one amongst the Panch Kedar. Saggar is located 5kms from Gopeshwar on Gopeshwar – Ukhimath road. There is a small temple dedicated to Raja Saggar at Saggar village.
How to Reach Here
By air: Jolly Grant Airport is the nearest Airport to Gopeshwar situated at a distance of 225kms. Jolly Grant Airport is well connected to Delhi with daily flights. Gopeshwar is well connected by motorable roads with Jolly Grant Airport. Taxis are available from Jolly Grant Airport to Gopeshwar.
By road: Gopeshwar is well connected by motorable roads with major destinations of Uttarakhand state. Buses to Rishikesh and Srinagar are available from ISBT Kashmiri Gate. Buses and Taxis to Gopeshwar are easily available from major destinations of Uttarakhand state like Rishikesh, Pauri, Uttarkashi, Rudraprayag, Ukhimath, Srinagar, Joshimath etc. Gopeshwar is situated on the road connecting NH119 and NH58.
By rail: The nearest railway station to Gopeshwar is Rishikesh. Rishikesh railway station is situated 205kms before Gopeshwar on NH58. Rishikesh is well connected by railway networks with major destinations of India. Trains to Rishikesh are frequent. Gopeshwar is well connected by motorable roads with Rishikesh. Taxis and buses are available from Rishikesh, Srinagar, Rudraprayag and many other destinations to Gopeshwar.
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